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RESCUED FROM DISASTER

Exodus 13:17-22; 14:1-31

  • When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” (Exodus 13:17-18)
  • The Lord sometimes leads us through “detours” so He can test and toughen us.
  • When going through “detours” initiated by the Lord we can be assured that:
    • God hasn’t forgotten about us
    • God’s delays are not His “denials”
    • God’s presence will be with us
      • “The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.” (Exodus 13:21)
    • God will give us His provision and protection (Psalm 37, Psalm 91)
  • Sometimes in following the Lord we will wind up in disastrous situations where we have to fully trust in the Lord’s provision and protection (Exodus 14:1-31).
  • What are some things that we can expect when we’re following the Lord?

When We’re Following The Lord We Can Expect To Experience:
SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS IN OUR LIVES (Exodus 14:5-12)

  • When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. ‘What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?’ they asked. So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. . . . The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army.” (Exodus 14:5-8)
    Sometimes In Following The Lord We Find Ourselves:
  • DEALING WITH FOES
    • “The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.” (Exodus 14:9)
      God’s people can expect to regularly experience opposition and persecution from others.
    • Jesus – “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:19)
    • “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
  • Sometimes In Following The Lord We Find Ourselves:
  • DEALING WITH FEAR
    • “As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt?’” (Exodus 14:10-11)
    • Lots of people struggle with fear because of the obstacles or opposition they experience in their lives.
    • Giving in to Fear will robs us of joy, peace, strength, hope and productivity in our lives.
    • Fear causes us to believe that God is really not big enough to take care of us (Philippians 4:19, Romans 8:31).
    • The Lord – “I command you – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
  • Sometimes In Following The Lord We Find Ourselves:
  • DEALING WITH FRUSTRATION
    • “They said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, “Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’” (Exodus 14:11-12)
    • A lot of people move from dealing with “foes” to fear to frustration, which will lead to conflict and compromise in our lives.
    • The Lord has called us to “son-ship” rather than “slavery” in our lives.
    • Jesus – “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36)
  • What kinds of “significant problems” am I experiencing in my life, and how are they affecting me?

When We’re Following The Lord We Can Expect To Experience:
SUPERNATURAL PROVISION FOR OUR LIVES (Exodus 14:1-4, 13-31)

  • Sometimes we feel hopeless because of the obstacles or opposition we experience in our lives, but there is always hope with the Lord.
    • “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
    • “If you are suffering . . . keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you.” (1 Peter 4:19)
  • Regardless Of Our Obstacles And Opposition:
  • GOD IS CARRYING OUT HIS PLANS
    • The Lord – “Order the Israelites to camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore . . . Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ . . . I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” (Exodus 14:2-4)
    • The Lord is already working, in spite of obstacles and opposition, to work miracles for our good and for His glory.
    • “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)
  • Regardless Of Our Obstacles And Opposition:
  • GOD’S PRESENCE WILL BE WITH US
    • “But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. . . . The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’” (Exodus 14:13-14)
    • The Lord has promised that He will always be with His people to help us.
    • “God is our refuge and strength, and a present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
    • Sensing the Lord’s presence in our lives brings peace to our lives (John 14:27).
  • Regardless Of Our Obstacles And Opposition:
  • GOD WILL EXTEND HIS POWER TO US
    • The Lord to Moses – “Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.” (Exodus 14:16)
    • The Lord is all-powerful and there is nothing He cannot do.
    • “Oh, Sovereign Lord! You have made the heavens and earth by your great power. Nothing is too hard for you!” (Jeremiah 32:17)
  • Regardless Of Our Obstacles And Opposition:
  • GOD WILL PROVIDE US WITH PROTECTION
    • “Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.” (Exodus 14:19-20)
    • The Lord will stand between us and our enemies when our trust is in Him.
    • “God . . . is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” (2 Samuel 22:31)
  • “Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. . . . So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!” (Exodus 14:21-22)
  • “Then the Egyptians – all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers – chased them into the middle of the sea. . . . But the Lord twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. ‘Let’s get out of here’ . . . the Egyptians shouted. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!’” (Exodus 14:23-25)
  • When we put our faith and trust in the Lord, He will “fight for us”, bringing the provision and protection we need to overcome our enemies and our obstacles.
  • “When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before Him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:31)
  • We can learn from the “Red Sea” story that:
    • In difficult times and situations we are to live by faith rather than by fear.
    • God sometimes brings us to the point of desperation to bring us to complete dependence on Him so that He can bring deliverance to our lives.
    • Trusting God is the key to overcoming problems and panic in our lives.
    • Paul – “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)
  • “Don’t be afraid. Stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.” (Exodus 14:13)
  • What is the Lord communicating to me through this message, and how am I going to respond to it?

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NEWS & EVENTS

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FIRST STEPS is the membership course for Celebration Church. This four-week course is designed to help the participant understand his first steps at Celebration Church, all the while setting him up for his next steps of growth and service.

  • Introduces Salvation, Baptism and Christian Growth.
  • History and Vision of Celebration
  • Promotes Worship Service Attendance and Church Involvement
  • Introduces Celebration Statement of Beliefs
  • Launches Participants into Life Group
  • Introduces Celebration Serve Team Categories
  • Launches Participants into Serve Teams
  • Introduces Celebration Church Values and Spiritual Freedom
  • Reviews Membership Expectations
  • Launches Participants towards NEXT STEPS and DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAYS

The FIRST STEPS course takes place on four consecutive weeks

(Lesson One = Week One, Lesson Two = Week Two…). If someone misses a week one month, they can return the following month and make it up. Although people can start at any point, the flow of the course works better if they begin on Week one.

PASTORS ARTICLE

Welcome to Celebration Church, where God is met, Love is felt, and Lives are changed. Our Pastors, Church Leaders and I hope and pray that you are encouraged by today’s Worship Service, and that you will have a desire to deepen or begin your relationship with Jesus.

We invite you to participate with us today in Communion during our Worship Service. Although our ways of receiving and taking the Communion elements have changed since the Covid19 Pandemic began, this is still a special time for us to remember who Jesus is to us and to remember what on what He’s done for us, especially through His sacrificial death for us on Calvary’s cross. And it’s a time for us to rejoice in the fact that our sins have been forgiven, we are members of God’s family, and we are guaranteed a home in heaven – if we have received Jesus as the Savior and Lord of our lives. Learn more about Communion from reading what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

Today we are also concluding The God Who Rescues Sermon series we began on Memorial Day Weekend. In this series we’ve been learning from Moses’ encounters with the Pharaoh of Egypt, about the plagues that God sent upon Egypt, about how the Lord will bring justice to our world, and about how the Lord miraculously rescued His people in that day and how He rescues His people in our day. Today we’ll be learning from the “song of victory” that the Israelites sung (Exodus 15) after the Lord defeated their enemies during the Red Sea Crossing.

On the weekend of July 3-4 we will begin THE GOD WHO PROVIDES sermon series as we continue our study of the Book of Exodus. In this series as we study Exodus 15-19, we will be learning about how the Lord miraculously provided for His people in many different ways as they journeyed through the wilderness. And we will learn that the same God who provided for His people in that day is still able and willing to provide for His people in our day.

In conclusion, let me that if you want to Make A Decision, share some Prayer Requests with us or Give to support God’s work through Celebration Church today, there are places for you to do that on the Communication Card that you received in our In-person services, or on this Digital Worship Guide (webcc.info). Thanks for supporting God’s work through our Church. Lives are being changed, marriages are being reconciled, families are being restored and people are experiencing the transforming power of Jesus as a result of your support of our Church’s ministry through your prayers, service and giving.

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church

KIDS & TEENS MINISTRIES

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Kidztown Children’s Ministry is all about partnering with parents to disciple the children who attend our church. Our Uptown ministry targets 1st through 4th Grade students, and our Downtown ministry is aimed at Birth to Kindergarten students. Each ministry area is a safe, secure and nurturing educational environment with our leaders and trained volunteers.

The Children’s Ministry of Celebration Church has a three-fold life purpose for every child, which is no different than the purpose for an adult’s life!

We want children to:

• Learn about Jesus
• Live for Jesus
• Let others know about Jesus

Our three-fold life purpose is designed to be experienced by our babies and toddlers just as much as it can be experienced by our elementary students. We want our babies to feel the love of Jesus the minute they come through our doorway.
As songs are sung and stories are read, children will understand that they are special in God’s Kingdom and will begin to open up their hearts and minds to receive the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. Our goal is for every child to become fully devoted followers of Christ, by asking Jesus to be their forever friend!

It is our privilege to partner with parents, grandparents and other significant adults in a child’s life as we embark on this journey together. The precious children that have been entrusted to our loving care are a treasure to us as well. We believe there is no greater call that to make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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Midpoint is a ministry just for 5th through 7th graders. Because we know that kids at this age are trying to figure out whether they are children or pre-teens, our Midpoint leaders work hard to create a “cool” atmosphere in the context of a very safe and protected environment. Their leaders and pastors teach them an age-appropriate message and then the young people are challenged to talk through how to apply those biblical principles to their lives in small group discussions.

Midpoint meets during all weekend worship services. Students join their parents for the music portion of the service and then are dismissed during the video announcements where leaders take them to their designated ministry area. Midpoint also has periodic outreach events, parties, field trips, games, crafts and other fun experiences centered around 5th through 7th graders.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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The Social Youth Ministry is designed so our teenagers (8th-12th grade) can meet weekly for a fun, exciting, and relevant youth service that focuses on challenging teenagers in their daily lives. This service is planned with the intention of encouraging, motivating, and inspiring young people to overcome the challenges they face in life and to make a difference in the world they live in through Jesus Christ! All of our youth services are relevant to the searching teen, understandable to the new believer, and challenging for the mature believer. Throughout the week youth meet in small groups called Life Groups. Life Groups provide a community experience where teens can share what is happening in their lives and hold each other accountable for following the Bible lessons learned in their weekly Wednesday night service. Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

 

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CHRISTMAS EVE

PASTORS ARTICLE

Dear Celebration Members and Guests,

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Celebration – where God is met, Love is felt and Lives are changed. Our Pastors, Leaders and I pray that you will be encouraged by today’s service.

Christmas is about God’s Son bringing hope and transformation to our world, and at Celebration people from all walks of life are experiencing Lord’s hope, joy and peace. Children and Teens in our Church are growing up to be strong, positive and spiritual individuals. College Students, Single Adults and Couples are learning how to have stronger lives and relationships as they find God’s purpose for their lives. Senior Adults are also finding new purpose as they mentor and minister to the generations that follow them. And many people are finding help, hope and healing for their lives through the ministries of our Church.

Through our Life Group ministry and other ministries, great friendships are being established, people are growing stronger spiritually and relationally, and they are learning how to have a positive influence on the world around them.

We would love for you to join us in upcoming weeks to discover more about God’s purposes and plans for your life, and to learn how you can experience His best in your life. In January we are beginning the TRANSFORMED spiritual growth emphasis. In this special emphasis we’re going to learn how to “transform” our lives, circumstances and relationships so we can become “transformers” of the culture around us.

To benefit fully from TRANSFORMED, our Pastors and I are sharing some critical concepts on upcoming weekends that will help us all prepare to become “transformed.”

  • On December 26-27 we will learn “How God Changes Us.”
  • On December January 2-3 we will learn about “The Five Habits Of Healthy People”
  • On January 9-10 we will learn “How To Have A Great Support System In Our Lives”

In the weeks that follow as we begin TRANSFORMED, we will learn in our Life Groups and In-person and Online Worship Services: 1) How To Set Personal Goals By Faith, 2) How To Get Close To God, 3) How To Move From Stressed To Blessed In Our Lives, 4) How To Change Our Lives By Changing Our Minds, 5) How To Overcome Fears That Ruin Relationships and much more. All of those teachings can be accessed Online as well as in In-person Life Groups and Worship Services. We would love for you to be a part of our TRANSFORMED emphasis.

Also to help people experience the transforming power of the Lord throughout 2021, we’re offering our Journey Through The Bible adventure that begins on January 1. Through daily podcasts and/or written devotions I’m going to be leading our people to read and journey through the entire Bible in 2021 in a way that will help them learn the stories and principles of the Bible and bring transformation to their lives, circumstances and relationships. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a great adventure through 2021. Sign up today to be a part of the Journey Through The Bible adventure (www.celebrationchurch.org/devotions).

This month, we are still collecting our EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS Christmas/Missions Offering. Our Christmas/Missions Offering goes directly to support Missionaries, Mission Ministries, and Mission Projects locally and around the world. We ask our People to give to this offering above their regular offering as a “Christmas gift to Jesus” to further support His work. You can give to the Everyone Needs Jesus offering today along with your regular offering, or you can give online at www.celebrationchurch.org/christmasoffering.

Thanks again for joining us for our Christmas service. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Thanks for joining us today,

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church